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Real Eyes 6 Michael Moore First Thoughts and KERRY WON!
The Election 2004 was Hacked!
GROKKING REAL EYES
November 3 2004
Wallow In Chaos, And Laugh
A Bush-leaning outcome and one enormous bitter pill
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
and you without your vodka
Wednesday, November 3, 2004
Oh dear God please not again.
Oh dear God please don't let it be all convoluted and depressing and messy and stupid and please don't let it all embarrass us on an international level all over again even more than it already has and even more than it already is and even more than we've endured lo these past four debilitating and soul-crushing years. Hello? Please? Is it already too late?
Why yes, yes it is.
And lo and behold, it's apparently another completely tortuous and entirely knotted presidential election, still not finished and still not all ironed out and as of this writing Ohio is headed for a recount and Kerry still has a glimpse of a chance, and hence we still don't really know the outcome, even though it appears to be leaning toward the utterly appalling notion of another four years of Bush and another Republican stranglehold of Congress and repeated GOP chants of "More War in '04!"
Which is, well, simply staggering. Mind-blowing. Odd. Gut-wrenching. Colon-knotting. Eyeball-gouging. And so on.
You want to block it out. You want to rend your flesh and yank your hair and say no way in hell and lean out your window and scream into the Void and pray it will all be over soon, even though you know you're an atheist Buddhist Taoist Rosicrucian Zen Orgasmican and you don't normally pray to anything except maybe the gods of really exceptional sake and skin-tingling sex and maybe a few luminous transcendental deities that look remarkably like Jenna Jameson.
It simply boggles the mind: We've already had four years of some of the most appalling and abusive foreign and domestic policy in American history, some of the most well-documented atrocities ever wrought on the American populace and it's all combined with the biggest and most violently botched and grossly mismanaged war since Vietnam, and still much of the nation still insists in living in a giant vat of utter blind faith, still insists on believing the man in the White House couldn't possibly be treating them like a dog treats a fire hydrant.
Inexplicable? Not really. People want to believe. They want to trust their leaders, even against all screaming, neon-lit evidence and stack upon stack of flagrant, impeachment-grade lie. They simply cannot allow that Dubya might really be an utter boob and that they are being treated like an abused, beaten housewife who keeps coming back for more, insisting her drunk husband didn't mean it, that she probably had it coming, that the cuts and bruises and blood and broken bones are all for her own good.
And this election, it might be all be very amusing, in a Mel Gibsony, blood-drenched hamburger-of-Christ sorta way, were it not so sad and dangerous. It might all be tolerable and cute, in a violence-engorged, sexist, video-gamey sorta way, were it not so lopsided and wrong.
This election's apparent outcome, this heartbreaking proof of a nation split more deeply and decisively than ever, it simply reinforces the feeling among much of the educated populace: It is a weirdly embarrassing time to be an American. It is jarring and oddly shattering and makes you rethink what it really means to be a part of this country. The answer: It doesn't mean much at all. Not really. Not anymore.
This is the common wisdom on the progressive Left. Those first four toxic Bush years? A fluke. A phantasm. A stolen election. A gaffe, a mugging, a crime. But this? An election this close makes you reconsider. Maybe, after all, we aren't nearly as far along as we think. Maybe we're not all that sophisticated or nuanced or respectable a nation as we sometimes dare to dream.
Maybe, in fact, we're regressing, back to the days of guns and sexism and pre-emptive violence, of environmental abuse and no rights for women and an sincere hatred of gays and foreigners and minorities. Sound familiar? It should: It's the modern GOP platform.
Here's the thing: For tens of millions of us, it is simply unconscionable that we could possibly be led for another four years by a small and spoiled little man who has very little real idea what he's doing and even less of how the hell he got there. It would be funny, in a Adam Sandler, toilet-humored sort of way, were it not so poisonous and depressing. And yet it looks like we're stuck with it, like a shard of glass buried deep in the eye.
And the rest of the world? Well, it can only watch us and shake its collective head and wonder just what the hell is wrong with us, why so many millions of us would even consider re-electing the world's most inept and war-hungry and insanely inarticulate man to four more years of unchecked power, why our much-hyped much-coveted supposedly ultra-superior democratic system is so very deeply blotchy and knotty and spoiled.
So then, to much of Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Russia, the Middle East -- to all those dozens of major world nations who want Bush out almost as much as the educated people of America, to you we can only say: We are so very, very sorry. We don't know how it happened, either. For tens of millions of us, Bush is not our president and never will be. That's how divisive. That's how dangerous. That's how very sad it has become.
And all signs point to the fact that the GOP steamroller appears to be just too powerful, just too well-oiled and blood soaked and fear inducing to be stopped just yet. After all, the Right has been working on this master plan and building their takeover strategy for about forty years. It's gonna take those of us working for change and progress and raw spiritual juice a little more than one or two to dissolve it away like the cancer it so obviously is.
Apparently, there are lessons yet to be learned. Apparently we must hit some sort of new low between now and 2008, attain some sort of seriously vicious status in the world before we will snap out of it. You think?
This much is clear: We are not, should Bush finally be declared the victor, headed for buoyancy and friendship and sincere hope for something new and refreshing. We are not, with another four years of what we just endured, headed toward any sort of easing of bitter tension, a sense of levity, or sexual openness, or true education, or gender respect, or a lightness of spirit and of step.
Maybe the best we can hope for, at this ominous and slightly sickening moment, is one hell of a lot more patience
An Election Spoiled Rotten
November 01, 2004
It's not even Election Day yet, and the Kerry-Edwards campaign is already down by a almost a million votes. That's because, in important states like Ohio, Florida and New Mexico, voter names have been systematically removed from the rolls and absentee ballots have been overlooked—overwhelmingly in minority areas, like Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, where Hispanic voters have a 500 percent greater chance of their vote being "spoiled." Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on the trashing of the election.
Greg Palast, contributing editor to Harper's magazine, investigated the manipulation of the vote for BBC Television's Newsnight. The documentary, "Bush Family Fortunes," based on his New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, has been released this month on DVD .
John Kerry is down by several thousand votes in New Mexico, though not one ballot has yet been counted. He's also losing big time in Colorado and Ohio; and he's way down in Florida, though the votes won't be totaled until Tuesday night.
Through a combination of sophisticated vote rustling—ethnic cleansing of voter rolls, absentee ballots gone AWOL, machines that "spoil" votes—John Kerry begins with a nationwide deficit that could easily exceed one million votes.
The Urge To Purge
Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson just weeks ago removed several thousand voters from the state's voter rolls. She tagged felons as barred from voting. What makes this particularly noteworthy is that, unlike like Florida and a handful of other Deep South states, Colorado does not bar ex-cons from voting. Only those actually serving their sentence lose their rights.
There's no known, verified case of a Colorado convict voting illegally from the big house. Because previous purges have wiped away the rights of innocents, federal law now bars purges within 90 days of a presidential election to allow a voter to challenge their loss of civil rights.
To exempt her action from the federal rule, Secretary Davidson declared an "emergency." However, the only "emergency" in Colorado seems to be President Bush's running dead, even with John Kerry in the polls.
Why the sudden urge to purge? Davidson's chief of voting law enforcement is Drew Durham, who previously worked for the attorney general of Texas. This is what the former spokesman for the Lone Star State's
attorney general says of Mr. Durham: He is "unfit for public office... a man with a history of racism and ideological zealotry." Sounds just right for a purge that affects, in the majority, non-white voters.
From my own and government investigations of such purge lists, it is unlikely that this one contains many, if any, illegal voters.
But it does contain Democrats. The Dems may not like to shout about this, but studies indicate that 90-some percent of people who have served time for felonies will, after prison, vote Democratic. One suspects Colorado's Republican secretary of state knows that.
Ethnic Cleansing Of The Voter Rolls
We can't leave the topic of ethnically cleansing the voter rolls without a stop in Ohio, where a Republican secretary of state appears to be running to replace Katherine Harris.
In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), some citizens have been caught Registering While Black. A statistical analysis of would-be voters in Southern states by the watchdog group Democracy South indicates that black voters are three times as likely as white voters to have their registration requests "returned" (i.e., subject to rejection).
And to give a boost to this whitening of the voter rolls, for the first time since the days of Jim Crow, the Republicans are planning mass challenges of voters on Election Day. The GOP's announced plan to block 35,000 voters in Ohio ran up against the wrath of federal judges; so, in Florida, what appear to be similar plans had been kept under wraps until the discovery of documents called "caging" lists. The voters on the “caging” lists, disclosed last week by BBC Television London, are, almost exclusively, residents of African-American neighborhoods.
Such racial profiling as part of a plan to block voters is, under the Voting Rights Act, illegal. Nevertheless, neither the Act nor federal judges have persuaded the party of Lincoln to join the Democratic Party in pledging not to distribute blacklists to block voters on Tuesday.
Absentee Ballots Go AWOL
It's 10pm: Do you know where your absentee ballot is? Voters wary about computer balloting are going postal: in some states, mail-in ballot requests are up 500 percent. The probability that all those votes—up to 15 million—will be counted is zip.
Those who mail in ballots are very trusting souls. Here's how your trust is used. In the August 31 primaries in Florida, Palm Beach Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore (a.k.a. Madame Butterfly Ballot) counted 37,839 absentee votes. But days before, her office told me only 29,000 ballots had been received. When this loaves-and-fishes miracle was disclosed, she was forced to recount, cutting the tally to 31,138.
Had she worked it the other way, disappearing a few thousand votes instead of adding additional ones, there would be almost no way to figure out the fix (or was it a mistake?). Mail-in voter registration forms are protected by federal law. Local government must acknowledge receiving your registration and must let you know if there's a problem (say, with signature or address) that invalidates your registration. But your mail-in vote is an unprotected crapshoot. How do you know if your ballot was received? Was it tossed behind a file cabinet—or tossed out because you did not include your middle initial? In many counties, you won't know.
And not every official is happy to have your vote. It is well-reported that Broward County, Fla., failed to send out nearly 60,000 absentee ballots. What has not been nationally reported is that Broward's elections supervisor is a Jeb Bush appointee who took the post only after the governor took the unprecedented step of removing the prior elected supervisor who happened be a Democrat.
A Million Votes In The Electoral Trash Can
"If the vote is stolen here, it will be stolen in Rio Arriba County," a New Mexico politician told me. That's a reasoned surmise: in 2000, one in 10 votes simply weren't counted—chucked out, erased, discarded. In the voting biz, the technical term for these vanishing votes is "spoilage." Citizens cast ballots, but the machines don't notice. In one Rio Arriba precinct in the last go-'round, not one single vote was cast for president—or, at least, none showed up on the machines.
Not everyone's vote spoils equally. Rio Arriba is 73 percent Hispanic. I asked nationally recognized vote statistician Dr. Philip Klinkner of Hamilton College to run a "regression" analysis of the Hispanic ballot spoilage in the Enchanted State. He calculated that a brown voter is 500 percent more likely to have their vote spoiled than a white voter. And It's worse for Native Americans. Vote spoilage is epidemic near Indian reservations.
Votes don't spoil because they're left out of the fridge. It comes down to the machines. Just as poor people get the crap schools and crap hospitals, they get the crap voting machines.
It's bad for Hispanics; but for African Americans, it's a ballot-box holocaust. An embarrassing little fact of American democracy is that, typically, two million votes are spoiled in national elections, registering no vote or invalidated. Based on studies by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the Harvard Law School Civil Rights project, about 54 percent of those ballots are cast by African Americans. One million black votes vanished—phffft!
There's a lot of politicians in both parties that like it that way; suppression of the minority is the way they get elected. Whoever is to blame, on Tuesday, the Kerry-Edwards ticket will take the hit. In Rio Arriba, Democrats have an eight-to-one registration edge over Republicans. Among African American voters...well, you can do the arithmetic yourself.
The total number of votes siphoned out of America's voting booths is so large, you won't find the issue reported in our self-glorifying news media. The one million missing black, brown and red votes spoiled, plus the hundreds of thousands flushed from voter registries, is our nation's dark secret: an apartheid democracy in which wealthy white votes almost always count, but minorities are often purged or challenged or simply not recorded. In effect, Kerry is down by a million votes before one lever is pulled, card punched or touch-screen touched.